By Dmitri Sans
On Thursday night, Empire Control Room & Garage hosted a benefit show for workers at neighboring venue Beerland in downtown Austin, raising $6,063 for their support fund. Beerland workers went on strike two weeks ago to protest bounced paychecks and the failure of former owner Richard Lynn to stock the venue with necessary supplies.
Featured bands included Octopus Project, Broken Gold, USA/Mexico, and more. A raffle was held with various prizes, and organizers put up a large poster for attendees to write words of support for Beerland workers or words of anger against Lynn. “Solidarity with the workers who make Beerland happen!”, “Beerland for the workers!” and “Beerland is for the people, the people are for Beerland!” were some of the messages written.
Before the raffle was drawn, a few Beerland workers and an activist spoke. “Who supports Beerland workers? Who’s ready to picket for Beerland workers?” the activist asked, met with loud cheers and applause.
“It’s not about bars or burger joints, those things come and go,” a worker named Max said. “It’s about helping people who really do need help.”
Dozens of people signed up for a “Beerland Support Committee” that will be on call to back the workers’ strike, taking it to the streets if necessary. Beerland has remained closed since the strike began, and it is still unclear who Lynn sold the venue to.
Copies of the statement of solidarity by Incendiary for the Beerland workers were also handed out at the event, and several of the neighboring venues have posted the statement up on their walls. Incendiary reiterates its solidarity with the striking workers and salutes their continuing struggle and efforts to organize against wage theft and for their dignity.